I’m a sucker for a new recipe. In fact, I hardly ever make the same recipe twice. I sit down with Pinterest, my coupons, and the weekly Kroger deals on Southern Savers every Saturday and make a meal plan and a shopping list. I usually start from ingredients that I know I have on hand, like ground turkey or chicken drumsticks, and choose a recipe I’ve pinned. I open that in a new tab so I have the ingredient list, and I add the things I don’t have to my shopping list. Then I search for a coupon, or, better yet, find a version that is on sale. All that to say that I really do use my Pinterest, and when I see a recipe or genre of recipes making the rounds, I’m inevitably going to end up trying it.
Enter the crockpot lasagna. I’ve seen this floating around the Pinterest world and the blogosphere, and I’ve been a skeptic. How could lasagna noodles POSSIBLY turn out well in a crockpot? I kept remembering the Great Slowcooker Enchilada Debacle of 2013. But as I tend to do with trends, the day came that I all of sudden simply HAD to try out a crockpot lasagna. You know, “the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” and all that. (Just kidding with that quote. It’s a great quote, but I think it goes a little deeper than crockpot lasagna. Sorry for the diversion. Now back to our regularly scheduled recipe!)
Lasagna to me is special food. My dad makes the all-time best lasagna ever. (I know one of his secrets is that he NEVER skimps on the cheese.) I rarely make it because I feel like it is time consuming and labor intensive, and plus it’s not usually as good as my dad’s. But I enjoy eating it, for sure. So I thought maybe this crockpot business would make it a little more accessible, and since I had such low expectations, how bad could it be? I went with a veggie version that sounded interesting.
I set the ‘pot up to go on a Saturday morning, embracing my newfound love for weekend crockpotting.
Interestingly, this recipe calls for you to cook it on “warm,” or your crockpot’s lowest setting. I’ve often felt like the “low” setting on mine is not actually all that low, so it sounded good to me! You let it go for 6 hours and then crank it up to high for the last 2. This is what really got the cheese nice and melty there at the end.
Here’s how the lasagna looked at the end after I had served some:
Layers of goodness: check!
Melty cheese: check!
Cooked noodles: check!
It looks like a lasagna, and quacks like a lasagna, so I decided I’ll call it a lasagna!
I will say, the noodles were a tad on the soggy side. I probably could have stopped it maybe an hour before I did and they would have been fine. But other than that, I really couldn’t complain! I don’t know that this was necessarily that much easier than a regular lasagna, though I suppose not needing to boil the noodles is a plus. But you still have to prep the stuff for the layers and then create the layers, albeit in a crockpot and not in a baking pan. However, being able to leave it unattended for a long stretch is nice, as is not heating up the oven (and as a result your entire 834 square foot apartment). So the verdict: never as good as my dad’s, but a passable substitute! I’d try it again.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever cooked in your crockpot?